With apologies to Blossom Dearie.
The hunt is on for a spring marathon. Not just a “spring” marathon, but a marathon that takes place sometime between the dates of April 1 and May 1. Before that is too early and after that is not workable for reasons of familial commitments. So, okay, an April marathon. And not just any April marathon. It has to be within reasonable distance of my home (I’ll fly, but not across the country again), be located within the continental US, and not feature insanely unpredictable weather. And not be in danger of being cancelled or moved at the last minute (see also Olathe Marathon, shown below anyway) for weather or other reasons.
Here are my candidates along with the basic pros and cons based on doing research on MarathonGuide.com and Kayak.com. I know there are lots of other marathons listed for April on the MarathonGuide site, but I rejected many of them because they were at high altitude, or trail (meaning non-paved/technical/mountainous) races, or were just too far away from anything to get to easily. In the case of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, a local Louisville runner whose opinion I respect said on Facebook, simply: “Total shit. Stay far away.” (Actually, she originally said, thanks to the wonders of auto-complete, “Tot shit,” but I knew what she meant.)
I’m not looking for the perfect race. But I am trying to avoid an expensive, arduous and time-consuming waking nightmare if at all possible.
Please don’t suggest anything in May or June, much as you’ll be tempted to! Those months are just not doable this year. The ones in bold are the races I’m favoring. Yeah. Two races.
Thoughts? Discuss among yourselves.
Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
Pros: small (500 people), fairly easy to fly to (although others are easier)
Cons: hilly, weather can be dreadfull (wind, rain)
State Farm Charlottesville Marathon
Pros: small (500 people), predictable weather, fairly easy to fly to
Cons: 1600 total climb, reports of bad on-course support
Garden Spot Village Marathon
New Holland, PA
Pros: very small (250 people), can drive there
Cons: two enormous PR-killing hills, don’t even trust April for weather in PA
GO! St. Louis Marathon
St. Louis, MO
Pros: larger/more established (2000 for the full), course is challenging but not horribly so
Cons: direct/quick flights, easy to get around
The OZ Marathon
Pros: small (300 people), flat, direct flights to Kansas City then just a half hour drive
Cons: got moved back a week in 2009 due to weather, lots of course issues: roads not closed, bikepath crowded, end of race clogged with half marathoners and walkers
Earth Day Marathon
Pros: small (400 people), fairly flat but for one hill
Cons: could be hot, can fly there but then need to drive for 1.5 hours
Glass City Marathon
Pros: small (500 people), flat, not terrible to get to (fly direct to Detroit, then drive an hour)
Cons: could be hot or windy (as it’s right on Lake Erie)
Okay, what have I missed?